Intended for healthcare professionals


Cancer services to be radically redeveloped in Britain

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 21 May 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1317
  1. L Dillner

    Cancer services in Britain need to be radically redeveloped to give the best possible cure rates and to improve patients' quality of life, says a report from the Expert Advisory Group on Cancer this week. The report, produced by a committee chaired by Dr Kenneth Calman, the chief medical officer, proposes a national network of designated cancer units in district hospitals linked to specialised cancer centres in larger general hospitals.

    The report says that while research shows that specialised care improves outcomes in both rare and common cancers, survival rates vary widely throughout Britain. All patients with cancer should benefit from advances in adjuvant treatment and pain control. Cancer services should be patient centred, giving patients clear information about treatment options.

    Cancer units will be expected to provide specialist care for patients with malignancies in common sites such as the breast and gastrointestinal tract. “Surgical specialisation in the common cancer sites is essential and a hospital should only seek to function as …

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